Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Beer stories #395

Hell, if I can't talk about my own beer career, other people's will have to do!

From Reddit: Funniest thing you've ever heard in a bar.

The deed is done

For the last couple of weeks I've been wrangling over the best way to proceed. It basically boiled down to two choices - either try to learn how to moderate better, or totally pack it in. I haven't wanted to speak about this choice yet because one of the problems I've had so far is that my mind has hardly ever been made up about what the best thing to do is, so when I've said things I later have a change of heart about they end up coming back to bite me and creating their own set of problems I really don't have the time for.

I've no doubt that my opinion will change again and I'll just have to go with the flow on that when it happens; it's really impossible to set anything in stone since I'm going into this virtually blind and with one person to talk to once a week about it. Nonetheless the inescapable conclusion I must draw from the time when I most recently realised I had to do something about all of this, is that for whatever reason I still have times where I lose self-control and so trying to moderate myself isn't very likely to work. I'm always wary of extreme solutions as I think they tend to provoke a rebellious response but as I mentioned earlier today, I've come to see that stopping altogether is a safer method for me to control it than muddling along clinging to a vague self-belief I might be able to manage it.

When I've talked about this in the past, people have usually tried to change my mind and tell me there's no need to be so extreme. I think that's just testament to the decent job I manage of hiding how much it sometimes affects me - how even on nights where I can seem fine, I'm either on the way down into a spiralling mood or I'll be such a wreck the next day I have to put aside days to get over it. I don't intentionally do that to myself - I don't enjoy the after-effects at all. I seem to have been blessed or cursed with a remarkable stamina for self-abuse up to a point, before which I feel on top of the world and after which I'm six feet under. Do you see part of the problem now? - it's that I can't even trust my own body to give me any pointers, so I'm even in a fight against myself. Even while I've been trying to moderate recently, the same thing happens - I feel absolutely fine and dandy until the moment comes when it all catches up with me in an instant. That isn't an easy thing to learn how to live with or work around, hence the decision to take this war nuclear and cut it out altogether.

I am tired of all this, and I know it seems silly - at least I'm not drinking MRSA gel, eh? But it has a big effect on me in its own way, and it's a hard thing to shake once it has its grip on you. If you see me at the bar, do a friend a favour and get me a lemonade, yeah?

A new year

I think I've finally managed to come completely clean about all of this to all of the people to whom it matters. The only remaining thing left to say is that I know I've still got a long way to go with sorting it out because over Christmas I got the usual moments of either feeling close to losing control or actually losing control. This wasn't helped by telling my parents over this period which, naturally, wasn't very easy and after which I got the usual green light in my head to "reward" myself for doing something hard by having a drink to help get over it. Silly, I know, and one of the things I need to talk about to change.

Moderating it is very difficult for me. I feel that something has physically changed because it just sneaks up on me from nowhere these days, and I go from doing fine and feeling quite good about myself, to making the same old mistakes again before I know it. I think then that with Christmas out of the way, now's the time to stop. I've been searching for ways to cut down without making me feel isolated and alone by losing social time with all the people I know, but even if I managed it some times over the holidays, at other times it just seems impossible; drinking is so deeply entwined with most of the people I socialise with that without a drink involved, I feel like I don't really know them. The logical conclusion is that I should abandon that policy and accept that I'm really not much better than the rest of the people in my boat, and try whatever they try to get over the problem.

To be honest I'm pretty worried about how hard I'll find this, but at the same time I've actually just become very bored of talking to myself about all of this and seeing myself as someone with a problem - and other people seeing me as weak. I'd rather have to deal with a bit of loneliness when I'm not seeing people because I'm lonely anyway. And the idea of seeing this alcohol adviser is that I can get this off my chest without affecting my day to day life - perhaps this blog is subverting that idea so I might have to cut back on this. Sometimes I think I spend endless hours thinking about answers to problems when all I really should be doing is being a man, taking them on the chin and getting on with things.

I don't really have a grand statement to end this with, other than that I'm bored of all this and want it to end.